Cagayan de Oro city served as the host of the third of a series of key local govenment unit and local stakeholder consultations and round table discussions aimed at better understanding the role of local governments in water resource management and satisfying increasing demands for safe, affordable water in provincial and rural areas.
The consultations, dubbed “Local Development means Local Involvement: The Role of LGUs in Water and Wastewater Management,” was held at this city on Tuesday.
Project convenors include the Philippine Water Partnership (PWP), the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the League of Cities of the Philippines, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines and Istratehiya.
PWP Chairperson Atty. Nathaniel Santos said that the consultations are part of efforts to better understand and define the roles of local governments in local water resources management and development.
“The first two RTDs in Bicol and Cebu confirmed the Philippine Water Part-nership’s initial assessment about LGUs’ institutionally weak linkages and coordination with national agencies based in Metro Manila. Local governments often complain about a disconnect based on both geographical distance and the apparent failure of national agencies to fully appreciate and address local conditions and demands.”
Santos also explained that when an area is faced with local water resources management issues, LGU execs complain, oftentimes justifiably so, that they have to travel all the way to Manila to work with agencies like the NWRB for their local problems.
The local governments want a policy and implementation mechanism that’s faster and more responsive to their conditions because their own water resources projects are targeted towards local residents anyway. Local governments obviously don’t serve a nationwide constituency. (pia x)